FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS - Eighteen people were taken to Montana hospitals Saturday following an explosion at Fairmont Hot Springs with officials saying the resort had to be evacuated.
Over a dozen people were sent to area hospitals to be treated for chlorine gas exposure after an explosion caused a leak of chlorine gas here at Fairmont Hot springs resort.
Ethan Lawson and his friends had just arrived to enjoy a sunny day at the resort when they saw staff and guests begin to rush out the front doors.
“We just saw all the emergency vehicles starting to come in and we were ushered away and told that there was some sort of leak,” Lawson said.
The Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department was on the scene to determine the location and cause of the chlorine gas leak.
The explosion occurred in a storage unit where chlorine tablets are stored.
"There was a pressure buildup in the chlorine system and some of those chlorine pucks built up pressure and it popped the lid off the tube and that was where some of the gas escaped," explained Butte Silver Bow Fire Batallion Chief Chad Silk.
The fire department cleared the hotel lobby and conference area for guests to return inside.
"Fairmont staff did a great job with evacuating all the people here and taking care of their staff and they’ve been more then accommodating for us and really wanted to do the best thing for their clients," Silk said.
Lawson says he doesn’t understand how the gas leak could have happened in the first place, “it’s very interesting that that was able to happen here at all.”
The Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department is continuing to monitor the situation.
A chlorine leak at Fairmont Hot Springs near Anaconda sent 18 people to local hospitals Saturday morning, according to firefighters on the scene.
None of the 18 appeared to be in serious condition and were transported as a precaution, according to firefighters.
This is a developing story. Check back for details.